These 2 Ingredient Tweaks Turn An Amaretto Sour Into A Stone Sour

The amaretto sour may be regarded as a disco drink, but its cousin, the stone sour, is a pre-Prohibition classic that belongs on your radar. A classic amaretto sour combines amaretto, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg whites or aquafaba. The result is a sweet, tart, almond-cherry flavor. The aquafaba provides a frothy finish to this rich, full-bodied, dessert-like sipper. Some mixologists choose also to include cask-strength bourbon in their amaretto sours to counterbalance the sweetness. If you're all about the amaretto flavor, the stone sour variation of the cocktail leans into those bright yet deep apricot notes for a cocktail both bold and accessible. 

The stone sour (aka the "California sour") first appeared in print in Tom Bullock's seminal 1917 book "The Ideal Bartender," the first cocktail recipe book to ever be published by a Black American. (Notably, Bullock was neither from nor ever bartended in the state of California, so the alternate name is something of a historical head-scratcher ...) To transform your amaretto sour into a stone sour, skip the egg whites and add a splash of orange juice. The mouthfeel is thinner, and the flavor profile leans less confectionery, instead veering toward a compelling balance of sweet-sour, citrusy, and nutty. This impressive, sophisticated cocktail clocks in at a tame 17% ABV and is also wildly approachable for novice home bartenders, as it doesn't require any fancy techniques to craft and can be made with bar staples you might already have on hand in your liquor cabinet.

Say goodbye to egg whites and hello to orange juice

The assembly for a stone sour is the same as an amaretto sour. Combine amaretto, bourbon, orange juice, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. To allow the bourbon to open up its more nuanced tasting notes, the ideal temperature and dilution situation is a single large cube of block ice. To serve, garnish with a skewered trio of Luxardo cherries and an orange wheel sail. You could also lean into the amaretto profile and garnish your stone sour with an apricot wedge.

Fresh-squeezed orange juice is the best fit for the job here. For reference, one medium-sized orange should yield roughly 2 to 3 ounces of juice, which will be enough to make two or three stone sours. Also, opt for overproof bourbon. The extra strength will be necessary to stand up to this cocktail's considerable juice content.

Amaretto cocktails are nothing if not inventive. The Edna's Lunchbox even pairs amaretto with beer (don't knock it 'till you try it). Fittingly, the stone sour has inspired its own lineage of regional variations like the New York stone sour (which adds ½ ounce of Bordeaux wine) and the Hawaiian stone sour (which swaps the orange juice for pineapple juice). If you prefer a sweeter finish, add a splash of maraschino cherry juice to your shaker.